I steer clear of old white men. They make me uncomfortable. I read a lot and know my share of civil rights history. My mother is from Mississippi. My great-great uncle (a white man) owned his nephew (my half-white great-grandfather). I have a relative who was committed to an asylum for decades because he was accused of looking at a white woman. To escape death he shot his foot and jumped in a pond. My father never went to a segregated school. My mother, though born after Brown v. Board, didn't go to one until high school. I still hear "off-color" remarks that let me know people think of me as different and "not one of them" no matter how cool we may seem or how well we supposedly get along.
So when I see an old white man, I think of the people who were responsible for these things. Kind of like some people see a young black man with a white t-shirt and baggy pants and instantly clutch their purses and walk a little faster. That's how old white men make me feel. Like I need to lock my door, clutch my purse, and drive a little faster. (It's Oprah's fault I thought of this. She was talking to a 92-year-old white man on her show yesterday and holding his hand. I was amazed. She's from the sip, too. (Mississippi) I guess you can't get far in life by being fearful. But a dose of wariness doesn't hurt.)
*New Project Runway tonight.